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Sip Savvy Series

Sip Savvy is an educational series created to heighten your enjoyment of every pour. In this article, we focus on a way to develop your palate.


No two palates are alike. With infinite ways to experience wine, how do you develop your wine palate? Think of your tasting as a story with a beginning, middle and end.

Beginning: Do judge a wine by its color. The more opaque, the more intense the wine. When you sip, what flavor is the main character or “foundation flavor”? For white wine, consider fruit categories, such as citrus (grapefruit), stone (flint), orchard (apple) or tropical (pineapple). For reds, consider fruit on a scale from red (cherry) to blue (blueberry) and black (blackberry).

Middle: Take note of how the “plot” unfolds midpalate on your tongue. Take one big sip to coat your mouth, then smaller ones to identify the cast of flavors that supports the foundation flavor you’ve identified. Try to isolate textures from a dry to silky feel on your tongue. All of the layers, flavor hints and texture help you gauge the complexity of the wine.

End: It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – how’s the finish? Is it a long good-bye when you still taste the wine after swallowing? Or is it a cliff hanger when the taste abruptly disappears from your palate, otherwise called “short on the finish”?

The review

Here’s the most important question: Did you like or dislike the wine and why? Was the wine complex enough to capture your attention? Did all of the layers, textures, alcohol, acidity and tannins balance perfectly? (We sure hope so!) When it comes to palates, there’s no right or wrong. It’s between you, the wine and the glass.